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tv   Right Side With Armstrong Williams  NBC  December 27, 2015 4:30am-5:00am PST

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until age 13. by the age of 18, he was appointed pastor. he believed serving his community through politics and through ministry complemented each other. he followed the foot steps of other ame church leaders, continuing a tradition of religious leaders in serving in political positions. he served on the state senate for 14 years and a pastor for 24 years. pinckney was also a family man, husband to wife, jennifer, for 15 years and had two daughters. reverend pinckney and 8 other church members were killed by a gunman at a bible study on june 17th, 2015. the shooter's goal was to start a race war in america with his horrific actions. many believe this tragedy had the opposite effect. >> the fact that so many of us
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the nation do not believe we here in the south, particularly charleston, there's no racial tension and there's togetherness. i believe this, too. i feel so much at peace here. i feel so much at ease. >> love is going to conquer all. evil is not going to win in the end. i have such confidence in our love for each other. >> nothing is happening other than -- >> i would love to see this
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wake of tragedy. president obama delivered the eulogy at his funeral. people are standing together to mend racial tensions in response to the tragedy, mother emanuel established the pinckney scholarship fund. the charleston school district approved a new middle school to be named simmons pinckney middle school and in honor of pinckney and the phillips center. we'll remember the reverend for the good he's done and the love he's spread to many people, william smith, wlyh, harrisburg. >> thank you to our special broadcast, i'm armstrong williams williams, your host, joining us to remember those who died in the summer in charleston.
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welcome you both to the show. many people talk about forgiveness. it sounds good and it does, it sounds so sweet, but i think it's a little easier to forgive when you have not walked in those shoes, but when it's shoes that have been scarred by that tragedy, while you may forgive, there are other things that goes on that some people cannot understand. >> well, it was pretty hard for me when i first heard about it, but i thought about it. i said, well, if god forgives us of our sins, why can't you forgive what happened in charleston. if we want to look back, we have to forgive.
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i don't want this on my mind, on my heart. so i forgive. >> anita, have you had any contact with other family members? have there been some kind of a that loss? >> yes. we have been together on several occasions occasions. a bittersweet, bittersweet moment yesterday was tremendously hard. we laughed, we cried, but we pressed our way. we have to move forward. the forgiveness portion, i know the word of god as well. i can't say that -- i'm not -- >> you're still in progress?
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i'm a work in progress. >> that's understandable. no question. >> i believe we have to look at it as it was more than just what we saw. i believe that we should be diligent as well as be alert. there are -- there is evilness in this world. there are persons who are struggling, whether it's mentally, whether it's hate, but we can't deny the fact that there's evil and hate and racism. we can't ignore those things. even if i choose to forgive someone, i'm definitely not at the point of forgetting. i'm not there yet. >> you know, for those of us that read the bible and watch
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changed the course of history where sometimes families and villages and communities have been sacrificed because there was a greater good that needed to take place, this is -- this story is biblical in proportion. you just cannot ignore the gravity of this story and why it happened and we say everything happens for a reason. but it's certainly -- it would be one of the greatest movies ever told when you tell this story and the ripple effect it had around the world. we're going to come back with cousin grace and anita. i'm armstrong williams. we're celebrating lives and hopefully building something
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we'll be back.
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it is like one of those greatest stories ever told. i mean, it's one thing to remember these stories thousands of years ago that you read about in history. i mean, but obviously this is a moment in our history that will live on in infamy. what is the greater lesson in this story? i'm sure you've thought about t you've cried about it, you prayed about it, you've laughed about it, but there's got to be a greater message in this story. >> well, armstrong, one of the things, when i look at senator pinckney, our beloved cousin clementa to us, there are things in our family that you can't buy in a book. i would imagine that the evil forces would not want that
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world. our faith. work ethics. education. back in the day, we didn't have an evidence-based curriculum. we didn't have all these programs. it was a village that raised the child like the village that raised senator pinckney. i can remember some of the struggles of his mom, being young having him. i can remember her having a daycare in her living room, but she was able to provide a living for her children, not only for her children, there were times she kept my children. she kept everybody's child. and some of those things, we put those -- we've put those core values aside. clementa, he exemplified to a
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we could even imagine. the word of god says, death, oh, death, where is the sting? and even now, we see it's an awful situation, but there are many opportunities to continue the legacy. there are many, many opportunities to take something that was meant for bad and turn around and make it for the good of the people. everyone isn't evil. so that is something that we can permeate across the world. everyone isn't evil. >> cousin grace, i don't know if we have the picture of you in "time" magazine, an incredible story that took up half the magazine. you know, why those nine? why at this time in our history,
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why is that the world was to know -- and even though there were nine, the president chose to eulogize your grandson, the president of the united states, the world watched. people's wounds were healed. things we have not seen in a long time. why? why your -- what was it about your grandson? >> well, my grandson, he was just an humble young man. and i don't care where he would go to make a speech, he would make sure they understood what he was saying and being so young and knowing the work that he was doing, everybody just loved him. >> do you think that -- i don't know if you believe in pre-destination. i don't know if you believe in faith. but everything, past, present and in the future, happens for a reason. >> yes.
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tragedy was so overwhelming, i mean, if there was ever a reason for people to protest and just have outrage and riot, this is the time. but through your example of your family, you showed the world not only how to grieve but how to embrace a tragedy. in the most noble and most dignified way. did you know you had that new? >> i can think of being in the st. james community working on my grandfather's farm, and one of my uncles, uncle laverne, walking through the fields and he said -- he was talking about clementa. this particular day, he says, "that boy is going to be somebody great. he's going to be the governor." he says, "we've got to get him a car." and i was working in the fields, too. and at that time i literally thought we were slaves.
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working on our own farm, making money, even as a child. >> thought you were a slave. >> sure. i thought we were little slaves. >> when i was working for -- we were working for our parents, so i can relate to it, yeah. >> and uncle laverne was already speaking and he already saw something. he and our uncle booker t., they saw something. >> even then, you cannot understand this greatness and this kind of price and sacrifice? >> well, no. but then here comes our faith and here comes our god and the word says, "but they that know him, not just believe him, but they that know him, he says they shall do exploits beyond." he says "we're a peculiar
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we're joint heirs of abraham lorenzo and odessa and the other slaves. i know you know the history in the st. james community. we can't deny the fact that clementa was chosen. not only he, but the others as well. god literally had to do something. listen, south carolina is, from what we're told, we're at the bottom of everything. >> but that flag came down. >> but the flag came down. >> the flag came down. we're going to continue this. it's a historic -- it was a historical moment, a tragic moment, but wow, did the world
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>> amen. >> not only did the flag come down, cousin gracie, but the best part of it is we have not even seen the best part of why this happened, why this tragedy had to occur. we can only see and feel and hear what's around us, but obviously we have no idea the thread that this tragedy spread to the world. you never know the number of lives that were saved, hearts that were changed, parents who looked at their child and said, "you are that person." or may have been teaching their children about judging people based on their race and how they look and say, look, if this is what my teachings have done to you and this is what you become, you fall on your knees and ask for forgiveness. >> right. >> there are a lot of people that looked at themselves and said, yet by the grace of god, that could have been me.
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>> anita. >> i don't want the world to think that it's simple. >> oh, nothing is simple that god does. nothing is simple. >> it's not. >> no, because you can't understand it. even you can't understand it. you can't comprehend it. >> can't comprehend it. and actually, it happened on a wednesday and on sunday i asked my husband to take me to the church because i had to see for myself. i could not -- i couldn't imagine. i still couldn't grasp lying in bed on wednesday, phone ringing off the hook, but it was al sharpton who confirmed the deaths. i was blown away. just engulfed with pain, but
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watch cnn for two weeks straight, to see your loved one across the tv, and the way it happened is something that we could not have imagined, someone coming in the house of god, a place that is called the hospital, a safe haven. >> showing love. >> showing love. >> showing peace. >> yes. >> he said he almost changed his mind they were so nice to him, and yet the devil had a grip on him. >> but that just goes to show how cunning he is. it only takes a moment and the word says he comes to rob, steal, kill and destroy. but now what do we do? >> i tell you this, it wasn't meant for his wife, jennifer, and for his daughter in that >> that's true. >> it's not. >> no, no. it wasn't their time. >> it wasn't their time. >> it wasn't. and we had a similar incident to
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maybe a couple weeks ago, a homeless person came in during sunday school off the streets with a graffiti handbag like a shoulder bag, and she came in the sunday school class, and i'll be honest, i panicked. i kept -- i looked at the lady and i said, "god, i don't want to just sit here and die. what are we going to do?" and i ran and i ran to the pastor's study and i shared with the pastor what i saw. and he came, my husband was teaching sunday school, and they continued with the lesson. and the pastor's wife and i, we went in a room and we just prayed. so i'm out of the room. i said, "okay, lord. i don't have to deal with this. they'll deal with that." >> shortly after, one of the deacons came to me and said, "anita, it's time for the
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so i go in the room and the leaders and the leadership, we're all going to pray and i look up and there's the lady. she's still in the sunday school class, and the space that was open for us to hold hands, i had to stand right beside her. i prayed, i prayed. i was like, "lord, please." and i looked at the lady and i could see her skin was red from the sun where she had been in the sun. i could smell the alcohol, and i kept praying in the spirit of the lord. he had me to embrace her and hold her, but i was alert. i was praying but i definitely was alert. >> it still lives within you. >> it's there. >> you can't escape it. you're paranoid. >> yes. >> anything that's suspicious. hold that.
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don't go away. >> now, anita, we need to know the outcome of that situation. >> well, when i held her, i felt -- i did feel the peace of god. he was there. and, again, i could smell the alcohol on her and i felt her brokenness. so i asked her, i said, "why are you here?" she said, "i'm hungry, i'm hungry and i want a hotel." i held her hand and as i was holding her hand, i was praying and i was like, "lady, don't you make a move." and so my husband gave her some
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she just wanted something to eat. >> how do you overcome the fear after such a -- prayer. jennifer and i were together yesterday and we just prayed. we have to believe. we have to believe that the holy spirit will arrest us and give us peace that surpasses all understanding. we have to trust, even during the time of the sunday school incident. the men were there, they were like, "you can't be afraid. we have to show her the love of christ." >> are you making progress? >> yes. >> are you making progress? >> yes, i am. >> well, you can tell you've had a few more storms and ship wrecks along the way. >> oh, yes. >> you know, we have to get there. we have to -- >> yes, we have to get there.
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coming on the show with us. you know what? to us today, it's not a celebration but it's something to acknowledge that we don't need to understand everything in life. we need to take from what is broken in life and put it back together somewhere else. you can never put it back together in your family, but other families, we can save them and ultimately save mankind. you're part of the process of healing mankind. good day, everybody. i'm armstrong williams.
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company.] >i and thanks for watching i'm michael alden. folks if your one of the millions of americans suffering
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